Long-time museum volunteers Russ Musgrove (left) and David Reeves.

Guests from countries as far away as Fiji and the Maldives were among those from more than 60 countries who visited The Canadian Canoe Museum in 2018, according to the organization’s guest book.

The information in the museum’s guest book is analyzed by the organization’s volunteers, who are also on the frontline welcoming guests from across Canada and around all the world.

The top five countries guests visited from are: United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Mexico and France. In 2018, the number of international guests who signed the guest book increased slightly over the year before, but guests came from almost twice as many countries.

International guests also came from countries including Holland, Iceland, and Trinidad and Tobago. The longest distance travelled was an amazing 15,174 kilometres – from South Africa to Canada.

“Everyone comes in with a story to tell, whether it’s about where they’re from, where they’ve traveled or a canoeing or camping story,” says David Reeves, a longtime museum volunteer who spends one day a week greeting guests.

David recalls a story about a couple from Reunion Island, east of Madagascar, who traveled to visit the museum. The following year, another couple from the same island, who learned about the museum through word of mouth, visited the following year.

“In many ways, we are increasing our reach – across Canada and beyond,” says Carolyn Hyslop, Executive Director. “There is incredible international interest in our collection, and we will only see that increase as we enhance and expand the visitor experience at our new museum.”

Also in 2018, students from as far away as Argentina, India, and Vietnam, were among the more than 3,000 learners from nine countries who connected to museum via Skype as part of its virtual field trip program.